Memphis Lift creates parent manifesto to urge school district to take action amid pandemic

WATCH: Memphis Lift creates parent manifesto to urge school district to take action amid pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County School parents are calling on the district and school board to take action during the pandemic.

A parent advocacy group, Memphis Lift, said they spent the last three months, talking with hundreds of parents to create this manifesto.

It’s a list of requirements they want the district to take seriously before reopening schools.

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“Parents are frustrated and concerned their children aren’t getting anything right now and I don’t have to leave my street to see inequity,” said Sarah Carpenter with Memphis Lift.

In the manifesto, parents requested an individualized learning plan for each student with an assessment of their learning level at the start of the year and a plan of action for families.

“We know that most of our kids were already behind before the pandemic and we know they’re even farther behind now not having no instruction and parents aren’t teachers,” Carpenter said.

Additionally, parents said families need more support to close the digital divide like access to free, universal broadband service and training for parents.

“We applaud the district for already working on it, but we have connected devices with the curriculum on it and parents don’t know to use it is no good,” Carpenter said.

The manifesto has been reviewed by a few school board members.

The district said Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray talked with Memphis Lift about the manifesto as well but parents said they want these conversations to turn into changes.

“We gotta see some action now, we want to see some action for our children,” she said.

Because many families lost jobs or income during the pandemic, the manifesto included eliminating school fees and supply lists. They asked the district to provide supplies for students.

Memphis Lift said the deadline for the district leaders to respond to this manifesto is November 1.